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Using Point Cloud to Automatically Update the BIM 4D Model



Last Updated: 3-2020


Time is money for all construction projects. Within the domain of Building Information
Modelling, new techniques are being developed to control the time aspect, such as BIM 4D. Here the
3D model of BIM is combined with the construction planning, resulting in a visualisation of the
planning. Construction projects are characterised as a dynamic process, in which the planning
continuously deviates from the actual situation. Keeping track of the planning in BIM 4D is
characterized as time-consuming and labour intensive. This research focuses on automating the
process, where a Python tool is being developed. As a result of this it is necessary to retrieve
construction site information. This is done using a monitoring technique that generates point clouds.
The tool has been tested on a case study, and it turns out that it has an accuracy of detecting
construction elements of 100%. The data of detected elements are easily being exported to the BIM
4D-model, resulting in updated planning. It is concluded that besides the visualisation possibilities of
BIM 4D, also construction progress can be tracked and compared with the planning. In addition, it is
concluded that the developed tool is not fully automatic. Despite this, the developed tool can serve
superintendents, site managers, project planners, and project managers to compare project planning
based on point clouds and identify whether the project is on track or behind planning. The whole
process may help against large time-consumption and labour intensiveness, and therefore encourage
practitioners to use BIM 4D more and more in the future. How the process can be made fully automatic
is an interesting topic for further research.

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